The Special Case of Women in Formal Education Hierarchies

Eleanor Thompson

Abstract


This paper examines the subordinate position of women in formal education hierarchies in three of the world's foremost democracies: Canada, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and the United States of America.

The paper has two major themes: that the causes of women's underachievement are to be found in (i) the conditions responsible for their entry into and concentration in the lower ranks of the teaching profession and (2) the social, cultural and psychological factors which collectively have kept them in subordinate positions.

The discussion draws mainly on the arguments put forward by a number of published researchers, foremost among them being Hennig and Jardin (1977), Prentice (1977) and Byrne (1978). It concludes that the status quo may be attributed to such complex causes as: historical tradition, prejudice and vested interest, the inferior education of women leading to underachievement; the ill-equipping of women (by virtue of their upbringing) for managerial jobs embedded in a male-oriented culture; the failure of women themselves to accept their changing roles.

Keywords


Women in higher education; Gender;

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References


Byrne, E. M. (1978). Women and education. Tavistock.

Cross, P. K. (1974). The woman student. In W. T. Furniss & P. A. Grahams (Eds.), Women in higher education. American Council on Education.

Furniss, W. T., & Graham, P. A. (1974). Women in higher education. American Council on Education.

Harris, P. R. (1974). Problems and solutions in achieving equality for women. In W. T. Furniss & P. A. Graham (Eds.), Women in higher education. Washington, DC : American Council on Education, 1974.

Hennig, M. & Jardin, A. (1977). The Managerial Women. Garden City, NY: Anchor Press/Doubleday.

Kreps, J. M. (1974). The woman professional. In W. T. Furniss & P. A. Graham (Eds.), Women in higher education. American Council on Education.

Prentice, A. L. (1977). Women in the teaching profession. In S. Mann-Trofimenkoff & A. L. Prentice (Eds.), The neglected majority: Essays in Canadian women's history. McClelland Stewart.




DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15362/ijbs.v6i0.13

Copyright (c) 1994 Eleanor Thompson